The music industry took another blow this week as the largest retailer in the world, Amazon, has announced it will no longer accept new CD and Vinyl shipments while the U.S. and world cope with the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.
According to Variety, Amazon recently informed sellers that the company’s warehouses have “temporarily disabled shipment creation” for certain, non-essential items through April 5th. The move comes as an effort to prioritize more essential products, like household items and medical supplies that have quickly sold out over the past few weeks. The company did note, however, that products currently housed in Amazon warehouses will ship normally to consumers, but that sellers will be unable to replenish the warehouse inventory.
Cheryl Pawelski, the co-founder of Omnivore Records told the outlet, “Considering Amazon is the biggest record retailer in the world, I have to imagine that all record labels will take a hit,” before mentioning that with “brick and mortar retail under duress at this time as well, I can’t say that the outlook is good.”
As Forbes noted, the music industry is on track to lose $5 billion as governments respond to the novel coronavirus pandemic with event cancellations across the board. Massive events like SXSW, Glastonbury, and Ultra Music Festival make up just a small percentage of impacted shows and festivals in the U.S. and Europe as Live Nation, AEG, and other top companies postponed all events through at least March.
While we all anxiously await the return of live music, there are plenty of ways to support your favorite bands and artists. Companies like 11E1even, nugs.tv, Third Man Records, and many more have developed webcast series, bringing musicians to living rooms around the world. Furthermore, Bandcamp has announced that it will divert all sales to the artists on Friday, March 20th.